Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
The story of a love that became the most fearful thing that ever happened to a woman!
A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he's investigating.
The perfect noir comedy of desire, an erotic refraction played in dapper proximity to Hitchcock (what’s taken from Rebecca is passed on to Vertigo). The famous opening introduces aristocratic Manhattan as a perfumed glass cabinet, a whip pan followed without pause by a dolly-in reveals Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb) in his bathroom soaking like Marat, venomous typewriter suspended above a marble bathtub. Queenly aesthete and viperish columnist ("sentiment comes easy at 50 cents a word"), he finds a Galatea in Laura (Gene Tierney) and helps her ascend from Madison Ave. go-getter to shimmering socialite. A disfigured corpse brings out the blue-collar detective (Dana Andrews) and the shady bourgeoisie: a sponging playboy (Vincent Price), the "lean, strong body" easily toppled, and…
A mystery film noir directed by Otto Preminger firing on all cylinders. The nights are pitch black, the weather is restless and the brightly lit interiors are filled with cigarette smoke, antique furniture and walking old-fashioned costumes. The atmosphere is stylishly conveyed and acutely perceived. The black and white cinematography is beautifully stark, the camera is moving smoothly, the dissolves are seamless. The sweeping, grandiose and dramatic score gives such weight to unfolding scenes. The dialogue is smart and very well written, excellently punctuated by the cast, part of which are Dana Andrews as the experienced and determined detective and Gene Tierney as the beautiful, attractive and fascinating titular character.
The mystery surrounding the murder is expertly constructed, allowing for…
An incredible film about male projection. LAURA initially plays into the cliché that tends to type all movies that start with the focal character dead, wherein the viewer gets to feel like that person is an active, driving character for the force they continue to exert on the living. But in this case, when Laura is revealed to be alive, her actual presence throws everything that came before into disarray, revealing that image driving the story to be nothing more than the idealized visions of different men in love with her. I've been wanting to watch this movie for years (it spent a solid year near and at the top of my Netflix queue but the disc was always rented out), but never knew anything about it. Imagine my surprise to get not only a great noir an incredibly ahead-of-its-time reflection on noir's pedestal problem.
''Love is eternal. It has been the strongest motivation for human actions throughout history. Love is stronger than life. It reaches beyond the dark shadow of death.''
It's been a good long while since I sunk my teeth into a tasty slice of noir, and what a better way to reacquaint than with Otto Preminger's early landmark Laura. It successfully intrigues with a wonderfully serpentine mystery whilst also offering up finely tuned melodrama and a cracking script delivered by a very capable cast of players. Dana Andrews as Mark McPherson is astute casting as the hardboiled detective that finds he is falling for the seductive titular Laura (a radiant Gene Tierney) in the wake of her mysterious death. Clifton Webb…
I don't use a pen. I write with a goose quill dipped in venom.
There's so many films that ended up truly great out of sheer luck, accidents and circumstance. Laura is no different. Otto Preminger struggled in every aspect to have this film made the way he wanted, because there was always someone or something working against him. After fighting to get the cast he wanted however, he was denied the right to direct the film and relegated to producing it.
Rouben Mamoulian was given the directing gig, but when the first dailies came in the studio was less then impressed. Much to Preminger's delight he was given the go ahead to fire Mamoulian and take over…
David's Movie entry #14: January 3rd, 2014
In Memory of David Eisen
A hard boiled kind of noir that seems at first by the numbers in its approach of murder mystery with detective on the trail and several people of interest. It is not until midway or even slightly into the last act that the film started to unveil its true colors and the uniqueness it has within the genre. I actually can recall that point quite vividly and to refrain from spoilers I will just say it is when McPherson sits alone in Laura's apartment gazing at her portrait in kind of postmortem affection that never was.
I think Preminger does a great job in this one fooling the…
"I shall never forget the weekend Laura died. "
When watching TCM's The Essentials, I never know what to expect. I've seen classic films that are either worth the acclaim or those I believe to be overrated garbage. So when I found out about this murder mystery titled Laura, one that I had never heard of until this year, I had no idea how it would turn out, especially when hearing the difficulties the film had behind the scenes, such as changes in direction, casting, and its ending. I was unfamiliar with the work of director Otto Preminger, but after hearing that his films challenged the Hay's Code, it sounds like he was a pretty good filmmaker in his day.…
Pre-polemic Preminger delivers a standard potboiler with solid work from Clifton Webb and Joe LaShelle’s (Oscar-winning) cinematography. Tierney and Andrews miss the mark.
"Laura" begins as a solid piece of traditional film noir but slowly dissolves into a mystery of an entirely different nature. The very question the film is asking is somewhat of a mystery itself, with the motivations of its characters and the legitimacy of the events they are recalling constantly being called into question. It's a fascinating, twisty story.
It feels strange to recommend that any first-time viewers avoid reading any spoilers about a film released 70 years ago, but going in with only the most basic idea of what the story was about made for a wholly satisfying experience. The film plays on the audience's expectation for what film noir is all about, ultimately throwing in a third act…
Rewatched and checked out the Blu-Ray features w/ Mom.
Worth noting: The Blu Ray includes full episodes of A&E's Biography on Gene Tierney and Vincent Price.
Also worth noting: The theatrical trailer seems to include a couple alternate takes. Possible Mamoulian leftovers? I need to go back and compare.
The clear inspiration of "Twin Peaks" embodying many of the characteristics that made that show so fantastic including a wide foray of colorful characters (a young and slightly ugly Vincent Price for example), pitch black comedy, and a morbid base plot that becomes more vile the deeper you divulge.
Clifton Webb is fantastic. I actually look forward to watching more of his pictures as I've never heard of him before. Beyond the usual suspects of Noir sensibilities also includes a fascinating message attacking relationship dominance and the cliche's of gender roles. All wrapped up in a nice detective bow.
The atmosphere here is supreme film noir, yet there is more to the story than just a typical murder mystery. The cast shines for the most part, but it's the screenplay and direction that leave a lasting impression.
In the context of David Lynch, the similarity between "Laura" and "Twin Peaks" almost hurts the film. "Twin Peaks" has much more freedom in digging into characters that "Laura" doesn't even have a chance to go into due to the nature of the two different mediums. Similar to "Twin Peaks" it seems to be better without Laura around, her presence is potent to those that don't even know her. For example, the detective (Dana Andrews) who is the most blank, uninterested Film Noir detective that there has ever been. But this is purposely so, he shows his disinterest playing with a toy while others talk. Despite these nitpicks, the film is most memorable for a really young Vincent Price and a perfectly executed final scene that is haunting.
Laura has been murdered and a hard boiled police investigator is on the case. A smooth Noir with among others Vincent Price and a lovely looking Gene Tierney. I liked it a lot.
Homophobia, misogyny and necrophilia make for interesting bedfellows.
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!